21 February 2013

Baked Quark Cheesecake

I baked this cake two days ago, I am writing the post a bit late!

500 grams of quark (it is a fat-free German cheese, like Italian ricotta but harder) You find this in any big supermarket
6 tbspoons of sugar
2 eggs, divide the whites and the yolks

20 grams of butter, melted
10-15 Digestive biscuits or any biscuit you have at home (I had few ladyfingers from my Tiramisu, and some granola, I just put everything together in the food processor)

Turn the oven on at 200 degrees.
Melt the butter. If you have a food processor, use it to ground your biscuits.
If you don't have one, put the biscuits in a food plastic bag and use a rolling pin (or the back of a pan) to break them and reduce them into crumbles!
Add the melted batter and spread it on the bottom of a round tin cake (the ones you can open), use the back of the spoon to make it flat.
Bake for 10-15 minutes (keep an eye on it, you don't want it to burn!) and cool.

In the meantime the base is cooling, separate the whites from the reds, beat the whites until they form soft peaks, then add 4 tables spoons of sugar until the are stiff and glossy. Set aside, whisk the eggs with the rest of the sugar until pale and fluffy, then add the cheese and mix until smooth.

Fold in the whites with a spoon and pour over the base.

Add to the oven for 15 minutes, then turn it down at 180 and keep baking for 30-45 minutes (I waited until the top of the cake was colored). Allow to cool in the oven, with the door ajar.
Once cool, keep it in the fridge!

Buon appetito!


Breakfast Slice

17 February 2013

Dinner for four

Dinner for four

Hi there!
So, I invited 2 friends over, and cooked a dinner for four, which I hope they enjoyed.
You can prepare almost everything in advance, so that you can enjoy the time with your friends!
Here what I have done

Sliced home-made bread spread with ricotta, figs, dried tomatoes and scattered peanuts

Bread. You can make this in the morning (or even the day before)

500 grams of seeded flour (but you can use any bread flour you want)
1 tsp of quick yeast
2 tsp of sugar
1 tsp of salt
Lukewarm water (enough until you have an elastic dough)
5 tbsp olive oil

To spread
50 grams of Ricotta
3 dried figs thinly sliced
few dried tomatoes in olive oil (or you can use fresh small tomatoes)
a small handful of peanuts

Main course
Pork rolls with grilled vegetables
2 packs of pork medallions, which are about 16 slices
2 aubergines
2 round courgettes
Be careful, always wash your hands when you manipulate raw meat, wash every surface/cutlery/utensils you use. Try to buy pork that was responsibly farmed!


For the cream, you find the recipe here.
For the choux buns
150 ml of water
60 grams of flour (I use bread flour)
50 grams of butter
2 eggs

Mix all the ingredients together, just be careful yeast and salt do not come close together (mix well before adding the salt), until you get an elastic dough. Cover and leave in a warm place to rest until double in size.
Slightly grease a 2lb tin (900 grams), knock over the dough, mix again for a couple of minutes, fit it into the tin and leave it again to rest for 1 hour.
Pre-heat the oven at 230 degrees, cook the bread until risen and golden brown.
When you knock on the top, it has to sound hollow! I usually cook it for 25-30 minutes, then I unmolded and cook it upside down for further 5 minutes.
Leave it to cool on a rack.

My home made bread

Before your guests arrive, slice the bread, warm it in the oven under the grill, spread over the ricotta, add figs, tomatoes and scatter over the peanuts. Serve!

Main Course
You can grill the vegetables in advance. Cut the aubergines and the round courgettes in round thin slices, you can use half slice for every slice of meat, and bring the rest of the veggies to the table.
You can prepare everything before your guests arrive, leave it in the fridge and cook it just before eating. They take about 10 minutes to cook.
Flour each pork slice, add half slice of aubergine/courgette, roll and set aside.
When you are finished, cover with cling-film and leave it in the fridge.
When you are ready, heat a non sticking pan, add some olive oil and cook your rolls at full whack for about 10 minutes, making sure they are golden brown, and cooked thoroughly (you cannot serve uncooked pork!)
Bring to the table together with the grilled vegetables (warm the up before!)

For the cream, you find the recipe here.

For the choux buns
150 ml of water
60 grams of flour (I use bread flour)
50 grams of butter
2 eggs

Pre-heat the oven at 200 degrees.
Add the butter to the water and bring it to boil.
 As soon as it is boiling, switch off the heating; add the flour and stir well until combined. Add one egg at the time, and mix until you end up with a smooth and silky paste.

Wet a baking sheet under running water, squeeze it, cover the oven trail and spoon small quantities of you batter, making sure they are at least 2 cm aside.
Cook the choux-buns for 10 minutes, increase the temperature at 220 and cook for 10 minutes or until risen and golden (they may take 2-3 minutes more).
When they are ready, take them out of the oven and pierce them with a tooth peak to let the steam out.
Fill the choux buns with the cream JUST BEFORE SERVING, or they will go soggy.
Scatter some dust sugar on top and serve

Buon appetito!!!


12 February 2013


Hello there,

today in UK is Pancake day, and one of my favorite chefs, Jamie Oliver, uploaded this recipe on twitter, I tried it, and they came out just perfect! I will not post the link, but if you search for Jamie and pancakes, I am sure you will find it!

You need

One cup of self raising flour
The same cup full of milk
A pinch of salt
1 egg

For the filling, you can have them savory or sweet, we had them with salmon, salad, and ham!

Mix the ingredients until you get a smooth batter

Add one small ladle to a hot pan previously buttered
Check underneath the pancake: when it is golden brown, flip it and keep cooking until both sides are crisp and delicious.

Keep going until the batter is finished.

(you can pile them up on a plate and stick them in a warm oven, around 60 degrees Celsius, until you are ready to eat).

Buon appetito!

3 February 2013

Thick Custard

Hi there!

This a very quick recipe to make a delicious custard

You need

3 yolks
20 grams of sifted flour
250 ml of milk (I use skimmed milk, but feel free to use full fat)
60 grams of caster sugar
A table spoon of icing sugar

Separate the yolks from the whites, add 40 grams of sugar and whisk at max speed until you reach a ribbon like consistency.
When they are done (this can take up to 10 minutes), reduce the speed and add the sifted flour.
In the meantime, add the remaining 20 grams of sugar to the milk and bring it to the boil.
(You can split a vanilla pod and add the seeds to it, to give it more flavor. If doing so, add also the pod and leave it to infuse for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, pass through a fine sieve, and bring it back to boil)

As soon as it starts bubbling up, take off the heat and slowly add it to the eggs, keep whisking.

Bring everything back to the pan, and heat for 3-5 minutes, until it thickens up.

Transfer to a bowl, dust with icing sugar (to prevent the thin crust forming), and leave it to cool before putting it in the fridge.

31 January 2013

Free a recipe: Lemon cake.

Today I joined a fantastic swapping recipes initiative.
Here is mine

You need:
65 grams of softened butter (plus some extra to grease the tin)
115 grams of caster sugar
2 eggs
2 table spoons of good quality lemon curd
A splash of milk
150 grams of self-raising flour
1 tea spoon of baking powder

Switch the oven on at 180 degrees
Butter a 1kg loaf tin and line with grease proof paper (very important! or it will get stuck like mine the first time I made this.....)

Add the butter and the sugar into a bowl (or a food processor) and start whisking until pale and fluffy (it will take almost 10 minutes)
Keep whisking and add one egg at the time, the lemon curd, the milk and the flour (previously combined with the baking powder).
Keep whisking until everything is well combined (if you think, add some milk)
Add everything to the tin, smooth it and leave it in the oven for 35-45 minutes (use a tooth peak: if it comes out clean, happy days!)
Once the cake is out, but still warm, you can mix lemon juice and caster sugar, and use this to brush it over the cake!

Buon appetito!

Stories are for those who listen to them, recipes are for those who eat them. I give out this recipe as a gift to those who'll read it. It's not my copyright, it's just part of my life: so I let it go freely on the web